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Published: September 30th 2017
This horrific sunburn has made me evalute where I stack up against history's most famous grotesque creatures.
Darkman - at least he had synthetic skin to cover the burns, even though it only lasted for a few minutes. All I've got is my aloe vera. Advantage: Darkman
Geo: -33.0206, -71.5548
I feel like crap. A sore throat from screaming last night, exhaustion from not sleeping much last night, and from not sleeping the night before ... I felt like crap, but I couldn't sleep, so I crawled out of bed. I went to the bathroom, flipped on the light, looked in the mirror and ... OMG!!!!
This facial sunburn is unreal - have you ever seen the movie Darkman, where Liam Neeson plays a scientist, horribly burned, and trying to develop a synthetic skin? Remember how he never quite got the formula right, and his face would bubble, peel, and melt away after a certain amount of time? That's me! Truthfully, I was afraid to leave the hotel today, for fear of traumatizing any small children who might see the huge chunks of skin flaking off my face. What happened? Yesterday, my face was just dark, and now all the skin is falling off! I'm hideous!!!
To distract myself, I shifted my focus to the hotel. While run down, this hotel definitely looks better after seeing pictures of Diane, Hannah, and Mauricio's (hereafter referred to as DH&M) hostel. When seeing them last night, they asked how bad my place
The Fly - Jeff Goldblum is 6'-4". I am not even 6'. Advantage: The Fly
was - I told them it was pretty scuzzy, but then they showed me pictures of theirs. OMG!!! It was horrible!
They had pre-booked at a fairly decent place (and at the regular rate, which was strange since every place in town raises their rates 4-5 times just for New Year's Eve), but showed up to find that the hostel had over-booked. Yeah, right - they probably made a mistake by charging them the regular rate, so of course if somebody shows up offering 4-5 times that rate, they'll give the room to them.
Anyway, the hostel directed them to what was probably the only place left in town - sounds like it was an illegal suite, because I think they had to go outside and climb up a ladder to get to their room. The tub was filthy, the bathroom horrid ... they were given a NASTY mattress for Hannah to sleep on, but no sheets were offered, and it was so filthy that it was left unused. There were given a blanket for the other mattress, but there was a hole in the middle that was almost as big as the blanket itself!
Apparently, they were told that
Frankenstein - if he's ever working on his car and needs a couple of extra bolts, he can just pull them out of his neck. I need to go to Canadian Tire. Advantage: Frankenstein
there was an "emergency" bathroom they could use, but only if they were ABSOLUTELY desperate. Given how bad their bathroom was, I can't even begin to imagine how putrid the emergency bathroom was ...
Breakfast at the Hotel was quite strange - for all four of us, we received a basket of bread, with a single piece of toast and four slices of plain bread. Ok ... guess we each get a slice of bread, and then cut the piece of toast into four corners? The usual crappy Tang and Nescafe were served, as was some dry, pre-packaged cakes.
While waiting at the port last night for fireworks, Ben started chatting to a Chilean family, and an older guy was inquiring as to the status of the two girls. When he found out that one was his wife, he began asking about Monica, and gestured that she should meet his relative - an old, one-eyed man! I think Ben failed in his duty as a friend to Monica, for not hooking her up with this eligible bachelor! An old, one-eyed man ... something seems supernatural about this whole thing!
Off to sightsee - we strolled down to Plaza O'Higgins and the Congress
The Hunchback of Notre Dame - he lives in Paris, and has easy access to countless yummy pastry shops. The best I can do is grab a donut from Tim Horton's. Advantage: Hunchback
building, all carefully staying in the shade to avoid the intense sunlight raining down through the whole in the ozone layer. Since it was New Year's day, there wasn't much sightseeing planned, just wandering around town.
We headed down to the port and Plaza Sotomayor, stopping to see a number of plazas and historical buildings along the way. The port area was surprisingly clean given the mess left after last night's chaos, but there was still plenty of trash strewn about. I grabbed a yummy fresh pineapple juice, just before we went to the central market to grab lunch.
We came across a seafood joint that was completely packed - it should be good, right? Unfortunately,there were no tables available, so we wandered down the block to what appeared to be a second location of the same restaurant. Also packed, but with people leaving, we were able to snag a tiny table for four. Too bad we didn't go somewhere else! The meal was pretty bad.
Up to the famous hills of Valparaiso, to the neighbourhoods of Cerro Alegre and Concepcion. It's the unique geography of Valparaiso that gave it the distinction of being named a Unesco World Heritage site.
Dr. Mohinder Suresh, from the show Heroes - he acquires superpowers and then a nasty rash. Suresh has a sexy accent and a certain cerebal intellect that women fawn over. I have a bad accent when speaking Spanish, and no intelligent dialogue comes out of my mouth, only insults. Advantage: Suresh
Ha wasn't feeling very well, possibly due to heat stroke, but more probably due to the repulsive nature of my face, and so she and Ben headed back to the hotel before even seeing Cerro Concepcion. This was a shame, because it's a funky little area, with tons of artisan shops and cafes. Too bad most of it was closed today.
Some of the beggars here are pretty annoying and have serious attitudes - many of them aren't like the guy from the bus station yesterday, who you could tell was down on his luck and had no other way of feeding himself. Most are young punks who obviously have nothing better to do in life, and so harass tourists because they think we're all made of money. They don't look like they've been living on the streets and in fact, they look like they've been living quite well.
I ignored one such punk and as I walked by, he mockingly said "Arigato!" (thank you, in Japanese) That pissed me off - you have the nerve to ask me for money, and give ME shit for not giving you any? I yelled back in Spanish "I'M NOT FROM JAPAN!!!" He definitely
The Phantom of the Opera - he's got a world-class opera voice, and a cool half mask that women find hot. I sing like William Hung and have only a cap to cover my face. Advantage: Phantom of the Opera
wasn't expecting that, especially not from some dumb Chino, right?
We all took a brief siesta at the hotel before heading back out to dinner. With the exception of fast food joints, most everything was closed, so we decided to head back up to Cerro Concepcion to find something. Rather than walk back up, this time we took the funicular and got to chatting with a British couple. Ben told them that it's nice to travel and get away, and to see different things. Knowing that we were from Canada, the husband quipped "What kind of different things? Dirt and petty crime?" Apparently, he's not a fan of Valpo! Yes, it's gritty, grimey, and run down, but I like it! It's more of a backpacker type of place - rough around the edges but authentic.
I'm glad that the sun was starting to go down, because my face was becoming more hideous by the moment. But perhaps I could make money off this situation, and get a job as a sideshow oddity here in Chile? I can see it now - "Come see the hideous Chino leper freak! Touch him if you dare!"
We wandered over to a restaurant called
Werewolf - he only has to deal with being hideous during a full moon, and since it's during the night, no one has to see how grotesque he is. Plus ...
Brighton - the menu looked great and the food smelled incredible, but unfortunately, it was packed so we were told to return later. We popped over to the nearby Cafe de Iris, to see if they had a decent menu - they didn't, as it was more of a coffee shop. But on the plus side - there were several couples having a snack there, that could have been from Spain. One female in particular looked like she could have been the cousin of a certain Spanish hotel receptionist from Toledo - in other words ... impossibly cute!
We decided to have a little something to eat since we were so hungry - if we were able to later get into Brighton good, but if not, we'd just grab some pizza or burgers. We snacked on some ham and cheese sandwiches that were toasted in one of those old "Snackmaster" sandwich makers you'd see being sold on those old infomercials, and washed it down with a great assortment of fresh fruit juices. They also had some good looking desserts, but we went with a fruit platter, which was amazing.
Incredible cherries, melon, peaches, strawberries ... too bad I didn't have much
... if he's lucky, he gets to wrestle around with a skin-tight plastic bodysuit-clad Kate Beckinsale. I'm not even going to attempt to make a case for myself. Advantage: Werewolf
of a chance to eat it! Things were taking a while, so we figured the fruit platter wasn't coming. I had run over to check on Brighton and a table was available, so I ran back to Cafe de Iris to tell everybody, and found the fruit platter sitting on the table. I needed to go right back to Brighton to snag the table, but couldn't resist sampling the fruit. Trust me, it was so good that I almost didn't go back to Brighton ...
Over at Brighton, we ordered a bottle of Santa Emma Chardonnay - Ben had tried a Santa Emma red wine in Santiago, and found it quite good, so that's how we made the choice. A nice selection! Though it started out nicely, the service here degenerated into absolute garbage. We ordered water and when it hadn't arrived 20 minutes later, I asked the waitress again and made a point of saying that we were still missing a bottle of water. You'd think after missing it once, it would immediately come out - nope!
Our waitress disappeared, and nobody came by to check on us for quite some time, so I flagged down a waiter and emphasized
The Thing, from Fantastic Four - he has super human strength, and he's also on the same team as Jessica Alba. Once again, there's no need to even make a case for myself. Advantage: The Thing
that we were STILL waiting for our water. Again, you'd expect it to immediately arrive, but nope! Finally, I asked a third time, and we still didn't receive any. I then asked another waiter for a dessert menu - 20 minutes later, we still didn't receive that, so we said screw it - time to get out of here.
An hour after last seeing her, our waitress appeared and I asked her for the bill - 20 minutes later, nothing. I then asked another waiter, and we waited ... and waited ... and finally it came. And those idiots still charged us for the water!!! Ridiculous! We paid, departed, and left no tip. The service was an absolute joke.
Walking back to the hotel, we ran into DH&M. Mauricio came up to me and said in Spanish "OH!!!! What happened to your face??!?!?? You were fine yesterday??!?!?!??" He chuckled when I asked if he had seen the movie "Darkman", but we later agreed that I looked more like Freddy Kreuger!
I asked them to show BH&M their hostel pictures, because I had told them about it, but mere words could not convey how horrid and squalid the place was. We all had
Freddy Kreuger - he's got Wolverine-like claws and looks good in a fedora. I could use a manicure and my head is too big to even accommodate a fedora. Advantage: Freddy Kreuger
a good laugh about it - the only thing more hideous than their hostel was my face!!! And another funny thing - the girls talked about also having encountered a one-eyed man the other night! I was right - it's supernatural!
We all said our goodbyes, and it was funny to note - having lived in Chile for so long, Diannah had adopted the Chilean way of kissing friends on the cheek when saying hello and goodbye. Well, when it came time to do it with me, I sensed a bit of hesitation ... but can you blame them? Would you want to put YOUR lips anywhere near a Chino leper freak?
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